A monk (
Physiology and Psychological Characteristics
- Wandering Monks: Wondering Monks go around on pilgrimage, traveling the country to exterminate yōkai, performing exorcisms/purifications at settlements they visit, and aid people through spiritual guidance. Miroku and Ungai are examples of one.
- Jūjishoku (
住 持, "Temple Monks"): Temple Monks are Buddhist priests who are keepers of a temple. Many are quite powerful, using sacred spells to ward of yōkai. Master Mushin is a temple monk who raised Miroku.
- Sōhei (
僧 兵, "Warrior Monks"): The Warrior Monks of Japan were Buddhist Monks who did not follow the teachings of "causing no harm to sentient beings". They often sold their services to the highest bidder or fought on the side of their own choosing to further their cause and maintain their hold on properties and valuables that had been "donated" to them. They appear specifically as the white-hooded fighters carrying Naginata (halberds), defending Izu-Toyas castle in the third InuYasha movie "Swords of an Honorable Ruler".
- Ama (尼, "Nun"): Nuns is the female monks of Japan. Miroku's older identical twin daughter, Kin'u, is a nun possessing spiritual powers she inherited from him. The nuns at the temple from which Princess Sara Asano had once stayed in did not possess any.
- Sage: Sage is another type of monks of Japan.
Powers and Abilities
- Sacred Sutras: These multiple strips of paper are infused with pale blue spiritual energy that can erect a strong spiritual shield and exterminate yōkai all at once. Against Princess Kaguya, Miroku had called out Justice Be Done while throwing them. They rarely seem to have any real effect on exterminating/purifying demons, unlike a sacred arrow. Moroha had done so to mask her and Towa's human presence from Hitōkon.
- Sacred Staff: This long golden staff seems to be infused with Buddhist/spiritual power, even though none has even been emitted from it.
- Exorcism/Purification: Just like a shrine priestess, monks and nuns are able to pacify evil demon spirits from possessed human beings.
- Enhanced Intuition: Monks and nuns have heightened natural sixth sense of intuition that helps in detecting the presence of yōkai and evil energies nearby. They can even foresee troubling events that threaten the peace and future of the world; Miroku easily predicated the Degenerate Age coming at the hands of Kirinmaru's ambition to traverse time and space.
- Spiritual Healing: By combining their level of spiritual/Buddhist powers, one can heal an injured or ill individual of a rare sickness or even a curse, which Miroku had done for young Lord Takechiyo.
- Supernatural Detection: As with evil entities, monks and nuns can feel the presence of supernatural and/or magical, mystical abilities that are being utilized nearby.
- While Miroku's behavior is depicted in the series as odd for a monk, it was not unheard of for some monks to act that way. The monks of Mount Hiei influenced Japanese political and religious life until the arrival of Oda Nobunaga. He believed that these monks could not do their duty since they were living a blasphemous lifestyle. Nobunaga invaded the mountain, burned every temple there, and executed all the monks.
- Monk on Wikipedia